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The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,424 ratings  ·  344 reviews
A look at 50 common North American dumb birds
For those who have a disdain for birds, or bird lovers with a sense of humor, this snarky, illustrated handbook is equal parts profane, funny, and—let's face it—true. Featuring 50 common North American birds, such as the White-Breasted Butt Nugget and the Goddamned Canada Goose (or White-Breasted Nuthatch and Canada Goose for t
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.97  · 
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 ·  1,424 ratings  ·  344 reviews

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Montzalee Wittmann
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America by Matt Kracht is a book I requested from NetGalley and the review is voluntary. This book is going in my favorite folder for sure! This is hilarious! I laughed out loud and giggled all the way through! The author has a wicked sense of humor, clever, witty, and the funniest art!
His bird "guide" has everything from rules to follow, tools, how to keep a journal, and his own description and art of birds.
He has his name for the birds and then the comm
David Schaafsma
Jan 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, birds
I saw this book as sixth place in the 2019 Goodreads Choice Award humor category so thought I would order it from the library. I thought the title was pretty funny, and I thought the juvenile humor might just appeal to some of the actual juveniles in this house, but I didn't share it with them because the main comedic strategy is to use Marine-level swearing (cf, that picture book for adults, Go the F... to Sleep) such as replacing Red-Breasted Sapsucker with Red-breasted Shitsucker, and so on. ...more
It's SPRING and if you live above the equator that means that the weather should be getting warmer and the dumb birds are hopping around and making their usual incessant noise and pooping on your cars and waking you at ungodly hours. I say "should' because it is supposed to snow across most of North America this week and dumb because, hello? Who wakes up before the sun rises on purpose!?! :) Yes, I love birds. I adore them. I feed them and attract them and I really do have a backyard wildlife ha ...more
Christina - Recipe & a Read
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don’t see how you can rate this below all the stars honestly. My father-in-law had a copy at my husbands PhD graduation and briefly skimming it made me buy it immediately. It’s been a coffee table hit, numerous friends and family have bought it since seeing my copy and it’s been a strait up TREAT to read through over the past few months. 103837629/10 for this book.
I have been bird watching for as long as I can remember. I must have five bird identification books on Birds of North American, West of the Rockies. But, even if you have all of those and more, you will want this book. This book is both snarky, and serious. Funny and fun. It gives you true facts, mixed in with bizaar thoughts.

He has also renamed birds, mentioned in here, for his humor and amusement.

The Western MeadowJerk, instead of the Western Meadow Lark. The Dork-eyed Junko, instead of Dark-e
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious. And insightful; this drew you in laughing and kept you captive with it's calculated sass - educating you all the while.

An effective example for how more educational publications should be written with a level of intent to entertain; investment made easy, dry facts accessible/retainable.

Delightfully creative.
Peter Tillman
Well, you just never know about humor. Or alleged humor. This one didn't click with me at all (to my surprise) -- though there are moments. Such as the great cover art! FWIW, my wife didn't care for it, either.

For a positive opinion, see Laura's entertaining, illustrated review:
Thanks for the reco, Laura. I was looking forward to this one.... Sorry it didn't work out!
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Birds are everywhere— totally unavoidable. In parks, in your backyard, even stray ones drift into stores. And their prominence has led to the development of a specific kind of person: the birdwatcher. Now there’s a guide for new or expert birders interested in perfecting the favorite pastime of … sitting and watching birds.

The tone of this book is set with the title: The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America. Author Matt Kracht obviously has an interesting relationship these animals, and hi
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: natural-history
I am not a bird watcher, and certainly not a birder; bird -er: one who birds. That word is surely one of the most inelegant forced conversions of noun to verb in the English language. Anyway, where I live most of the feathered thieves are pigeons or seagulls, both of which belong to the taxonomy group “rats with wings.” Nevertheless, looking for something light to read after a couple of more demanding books, I found this in my library’s e-books section and decided to give it a go.

It is short, an
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best guide to birds and bird watching ever!

Oh my goodness, I laughed. I have bird watchers in my family and while I enjoy birds and love having them around, I am not a bird watcher.
I am not thrilled when birds (swallows) nest ON my home, I am not thrilled while I clean bird poop off my furniture, and I am not thrilled when crows wake me up at 3:30a.m, as the sun is rising in northern Canada.

But I was thrilled with this hilarious book!
Sep 05, 2019 marked it as didnt-finish-didnt-start
Think it’s a funny idea but will probably never read. Just funny to read about it.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
In the past year did you let it slip to your friends/family that you like birds? If so you were likely the recipient of multiple copies of this book for Christmas 2019. It sounds funny and promising but ultimately I think it's a missed opportunity.

Who is this book for? Experienced birders, bird-lovers, or people who birders are trying to convert? I couldn't quite figure it out.

I like a good joke or pun but I'm not the biggest fan of toilet humour/swearing for swearing's sake, which got really re
Chris Blocker
Chock full of fowl language. The best pages made me laugh out loud, and that's a huge thing, because I'm not one who is easily humored. The joke does wear thin, however: it's 170 pages of birds are dumb, here's how we can change the name of this stupid bird, whine, complain, and so forth. It was a quick read, perfect for a night when I was considering trading my own children for a house full of birds.
Victoria Carney
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
hilarious and entertaining for the bird nerd in your life... great Christmas Eve surprise. Took me an hour.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you have a birder in the family this is a great gift. It's funny and some of the points are spot on. It has 50 different birds and a good index and table of content. Even non birders will find themselves smiling as they pick out some of the birds they know. The illustrations are hand drawn and fit the book perfectly. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Birds | Cursing | Funny

Rating: 4 stars

A non-fiction humorous book about birds found in the wild. It was good but it felt a little short. I would've liked even more birds or more information about each bird. The drawings are a nice addition however. If you want to read a relatively short non-fiction book but also don't want it to be boring and you kinda like birds, pick it up.
Alexander Peck
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is necessary. As an old fuddy-duddy I think the language goes a slight bit too far. If it avoided the f-word and the lesser blasphemies I would buy a copy for everyone I know. I can't say it is not funny though.

The bird scholarship is accurate and the things he mocks the birds for are on point. Good book for the frustrated beginning birder.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An essential purchase if you are even remotely serious about birds. This is the best bird guide in existence, in my opinion. A perfect choice if you want to learn about birds while laughing your butt off. ;-)
Mar 17, 2019 added it
Shelves: netgalley
I never thought a field guide to birds would keep me laughing the whole way through, but this book has proven me wrong. This is not your book if you are expecting a comprehensive guide to all North American birds, or if you are uber serious about birding. But if you might appreciate Kracht's love/hate relationship with birds and would get a chuckle out of his sardonic obscenities and name-calling, then pick this up and have yourself a funny afternoon! I did actually learn a little bit about the ...more
Azad Abbasi-Ruby
Lighthearted and funny. Some good zingers that gave me a chuckle but the humor did get repetitive after a while. Would have loved if the book had color drawings to bring some life to his descriptions.
Mike Costanzo
May 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I laughed the whole way through...and also learned a lot - thanks Kristen!
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

A quick read! Funny and entertaining - yet I still learned some real information from the tidbits he threw in different entries. If you like birds and watching them, but also think they can sometimes be a**holes then this is the book for you!

My only complaint - what about mourning doves?! They're my love/hate bird that seem a bit daft but also lovable...maybe in the next edition. :)
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Goddamn hilarious.
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for_review
This is a very original, but very irreverent field guide to birds of North America. It would be a great gift for birders who won't mind the foul language and/or who don't get offended easily. As long as they have good eyesight...

As a lifelong nature-lover, I own (more than) my share of field guides. The book is modeled after one and the contents reflect that, including "parts of a bird" and silhouettes to help with identification, a birds section with text on the left page and illustrations on t
Jessica (Spooky KidLit & We Who Walk Here, Walk Alone)
Birds are the absolute worst, and Matt Kracht is one of the few birders brave enough to admit it. Whether you have a true affection for these feathered jerks or you hate them just as much as they hate you, this hilarious book of bitter observations and grudgingly brilliant illustrations is a satirical look at bird watching perfect for people who know deep down just how horrible birds really are.

My thanks to Chronicle Books and Edelweiss+ for providing an advance copy in exchange for an honest r
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a "bird-watcher" I found this book to be highly entertaining. This book takes flight with both love and disdain toward our feathered friends. I found it to be a pleasant mixture of eloquence and sarcasm, humor and wit. I will say that if you are sensitive to the feelings birds may have if they were to read this satire, I'm not sure I'd recommend it...and due to some choice language if you are easily offended by that sort of thing I would steer clear. Otherwise, feel free to dive into this del ...more
James Swenson
May 24, 2019 rated it liked it
I received a free copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. [Warning: strong language.]

Even though you are unlikely to have considered the question before now, you probably already know whether or not you'd enjoy a profane bird guide. I love the idea; the title and the cover art had me laughing right away. The hand-drawn art is beautiful throughout, and the author's love for birds and birding is clear, despite his ostensibly hostile tone. After a while, though, the joke
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This guide is like no other, in that it exclusively categorizes birds based on who they are deep down inside. Some are loud, some are losers, some are gray, and all of them are birdlike in appearance. For a fresh and entertaining insight into the lives and motives of birds, look to the distinguished bird watcher critic Matt Kracht.

One can assume from the title that this is a satire on typical bird guides, and it is well worth the read, not only for bird lovers (or bird haters), but for anyone l
Ryan Miller
Apr 10, 2020 rated it liked it
As I read this, I thought, “Wow. This would be a killer blog.” Sure enough, it was, and it was turned into a book. I laughed out loud at the intro and the first few entries. Then the entries became more predictable and I enjoyed them less. I think I would have loved reading this one entry at a time, every few days. Perhaps I should have just done that rather than reading it as a book.
Jun 15, 2020 marked it as abandoned-dnf  ·  review of another edition
DNF @ 25%

The font choice makes it a pain to read.
The humor is sophomoric, and the shtick wears out fast.
Snark can be funny. Profanity, sparingly used, can be funny. Not in this case. It was boring, and it's kind of sad to see someone trying so hard to be shocking or provocative and falling so flat.

The illustrations are the best part. Those are great. The author might want to stick to his day job as an illustrator and leave the comedy to someone else.
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